The profession of patent attorney is a regulated profession. The legislature imposes requirements on who may call themselves patent attorneys. To be included in the register of patent attorneys, you must meet certain conditions. The most important condition is to pass the Dutch patent attorney examination.
Dutch patent attorney examination
The Dutch patent attorney examination involves 6 separate exams. The examination aims at testing knowledge of the national and international regulations on intellectual property rights and the relevant parts of Dutch civil and commercial law. Besides testing legal knowledge, the examination also includes practical elements such as drafting and defending a patent application and writing patent advice.
The administration of the examinations is the responsibility of the Examination Committee for Patent Attorneys. The Minister of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy appoints the members of this committee. The Patent Attorney Examination and Competency Test Regulations contain the rules on the organisation and content of the examination.
Conditions for participation in the patent attorney examination
The first requirement is to have completed a Master's programme at a Dutch university, for example, a Master's programme in mathematics, natural sciences, engineering or agriculture and the natural environment. Or a Master's degree in the fields mentioned above from a foreign university, higher education institution or other institution with programmes at the same educational level.
Review the requirements for the degree certificate according to the European Union (EU) directive.
Professional work placement
Trainee patent attorneys must complete a three-year professional traineeship in which they must handle patent applications under the responsibility of a registered patent attorney. During these 3 years, trainee patent attorneys gain practical experience. Usually, they follow the two-year professional training course to become a Dutch patent attorney in preparation for the Dutch examination. This professional training programme teaches general legal knowledge and discusses the various patent laws and treaties. Trainee patent attorneys also learn the intricacies of drafting and defending patent applications.
Read more about the profession of patent attorney on the website of the Netherlands Institute of Patent Attorneys.